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becoming American

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NPR is running a series this week on what it means to be American. I was especially struck by the interview with Jhumpa Lahiri, since her experience seems to parallel mine. Like Lahiri, I came to the US with my parents at a young age. Like Lahiri, my parents were "different" and so was I - although as Filipinos in California, much less isolated. Like Lahiri, my parents' journey is very different from mine. Now their struggle is with achieving their dream of retiring "back home" and realizing that spending most of their adult lives in the US made them more American than they'd care to admit.

My own experience contrasts dramatically with that of MoBob's. I am already a dual, hyphenate, American, while he is becoming one. He wholeheartedly embraces Thanksgiving, American football, and the electoral college. But his ties to Morocco are much stronger than mine to the Philippines. My relationship with my home country is through the nostalgic immigrant prism; his is alive and real.

NPR: Jhumpa Lahiri's Struggle To Feel American
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On December 1st, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC), congogirl commented:
Oh I'll have to listen to this - saw a mention of it on NPR's site. I didn't know that you were not born here. It's very interesting to think of the contrast between your experience and MoBob's. Do you wish that your ties to the Philippines were stronger?
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On December 1st, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Yes and no. It'd certainly be a lot easier in CA but I'm doing my best - like getting involved with local groups here, like the Filipinos for Obama group.
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